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Spin A Yarn is renowned for being a friendly environment where Joyce’s team of experienced staff provide advice on a huge variety of subjects – from knitting and crochet techniques, to weaving, colour choices, spinning, felting, and much much more! We all love to chat yarn so don’t hesitate to ask if you have a question.
I’ve been in love with textiles and colour all my life and have passions for quilting, dyeing, dressmaking, photography and spinning as well as knitting. I still love dabbling in all sorts of crafts but am now committed to knitting since I opened Spin A Yarn shop on 4 July 2006.
I’m often asked why I opened Spin A Yarn and people are surprised to find that it was a “complete lightbulb moment”.
Not long after we bought Mill Farm on Dartmoor, we were given 3 orphan lambs to look after. Of course lambs quickly grow out of the cuddly stage but we didn’t want to eat our friendly pets. I decided to learn to spin and joined the friendly group of spinners up the road at Bonehill, Widecombe-in-the-moor.
A full 8 years later we had a family holiday in New Zealand and my daughters, much to my surprise, fell in love with the beautiful skeins of merino/kidmohair, spun and dyed by Touchyarns of New Zealand, as well as the natural alpaca/merino yarns produced by the Rareyarn Company. They had never shown any interest in textiles before.
I had to teach them both to knit. No-one was more astonished than my husband when he arrived in New Zealand to find his wife and both daughters busy knitting.
My daughters pointed out that they had never seen such beautiful inspiring yarns in the UK and suggested I open a shop.
I didn’t really decide to follow up on this idea until we returned from holiday and I went into Bovey Tracey and noticed a little shop at the bottom of the hill which was empty. I found a supportive landlord and lots of helpful friends who turned out to be real experts in the world of textiles. Claire Crompton was a spinning friend but I was astonished to find that she was the author of the ”Knitters Bible” which is a best seller around the world.
With the help of my friends we opened Spin A Yarn and immediately were able to begin running workshops in a huge variety of crafts including spinning, felting and crochet as well as knitting techniques.
Since we opened we’ve expanded our stock hugely and had to move 3 years later to 26 Fore Street, Bovey where we run around 30 different workshops a term.
Despite the expansion of our online shop we remain, I hope, a friendly local yarn shop where you can pop in, have a chat and get help with your projects while enjoying a cup of tea or coffee with your friends.
Ali is Joyce’s longest standing member of staff. She says “being a part of Joyce’s dream, and watching it expand and grow has been very inspiring“. Totally addicted to playing with mixing colours and textures, Ali weaves shawls from some the lovely yarns stocked at Spin A Yarn and has always been involved in textiles, felting and loves learning new techniques.
Lizzie is the new shop manager at Spin A Yarn, so do say hello when you pop in! She makes everyone feel at home on the workshops and also teaches Beginner’s Knits. She loves knitting for friends and family, and patterns which challenge her and teach her new skills are a favourite.
A talented artist (print-maker extraordinaire!) in her own right, Patsy works part time at Spin A Yarn. With her artist’s eye, she’s our go-to person for questions of colour combining, and is also a dab hand at altering patterns to fit exactly as she wants them to – no pattern goes unadapted!
Another skilled artist (life-drawing and beautiful portraits), Jane is an expert knitter with an eye for detail and new techniques. She also hunts out the most gorgeous yarns and makes us all green-eyed with her stunning delicate lace shawls and glamorous cardis.
When she’s not being a busy mum and walking her adorable dog, Gill works part time at Spin A Yarn. She loves making cosy garments and stylish accessories, and is now learning to knit beautiful lace patterns and use fine yarns. She’s modelling a wrap from Di’s Hairpin Crochet workshop in this photo.
Not only does Di work part time at Spin A Yarn, she also teaches many of our crochet courses, including the beautiful and unusual crochet styles Tunisian and Hairpin. One of Joyce’s longest standing members of staff, Di can draw on many years experience in the industry to help you out.
Terri is a potter by trade and works part time here at Spin A Yarn in addition. If you’ve been to the Guild of Craftsmen in Bovey you may have seen her gorgeous ceramic work! She has always spun and knitted in her spare time and now that she has her own flock of Jacob sheep is very keen to promote the fantastic qualities of our native breeds. You can enquire to buy her fleeces here.
I run the website, social media and marketing for the shop, so if you have any queries about buying with through our website just get in touch by phone or email. I’ve been knitting since I was a child and took up crochet more recently, but love to switch between the two or even combine them. I’m a bit of a geek about learning new techniques such as magic loop and steeking and love to knit for my children and buy yarn for myself 😉